Sunday, February 28, 2010

59. Berry forest cake

Don't be deceived by looks. This cake is a black forest cake that I haven't made for a long time. So long in fact that I have had a new microwave and the new microwave is 1200watts whereas the old one was 600 watts. Hmm so the cake was a little hard in fact like a rock. The cream and fruit had begun to soften it but it needed to stand for longer.

My lovely family ate it and seemed to like it. Have to cook it for less time next time.

The lasagne was okay and went down well with everyone. Making a secong lasagne has worked out well for dinner time.

Anyway we had a nice lunch together with all our family home to celebrate Katherine and Luke's birthdays.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

58. Birthday Girl

Today is my daughter Katherine's birthday. Katherine was my first child and so being the first child she seemed to get away with doing all sorts of naughty things as a youngster. Imagine emptying a carton of milk all over the floor and mum takes a photo. My last child Simon would never have had the same reaction, he would have been taken to his room while being growled at.

I remember when we first moved into our new house and Katherine drew on the wall in the lounge room with red crayon. I thought she was so clever but made sure it was washed off before her father came home. More paper was on the shopping list.

So Happy Birthday Katherine hope your year ahead is terrific. We love you and wish you happiness always.

57. Storm clouds

Threatening storm clouds rolled in and out today about four times but never dropped any rain. Maybe tomorrow.

56. March March Flies

March March Flies are here and buzzing. (well its almost March) They are large flies the size of blow flies and the buzz around in swarms. When I went running the other night I heard some and was bombarded by them. They fly straight into you and are horrible. If they happen to land on your skin they can give you a nasty bite that stings and leaves a weeping itchy sore for days.

Elmo had quite a bit of trouble with the March flies today and this one is sitting on his bed. Elmo was not happy and snapped at the March Flies.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

55. New Lab

This is my new lab at school. It's been recarpeted, painted and had new furniture added.( thanks to my previous Principal Damien Jenkyn) The tables are now in circles for better collaborative work. I can walk around easier and see everyone's work. The wheelie chairs are great for most children. Those who have a problem get to sit on one of the old seats and soon learn to handle their new seats well.

Last Friday we also had a new IWB installed in the lab. I have never used an IWB in the lab but I think it's going to be very useful as the children wont have to try to remember so much at once.

Technology is really happening very well at school. Each class has a class blog and even admin staff members have a blog. This will really give us some strong community links.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

54. Rubbish!

When I went running I was disgusted to find someone had dumped their rubbish on the road into the Sweenies Creek Pottery, that is along a road where I run in the bush. How can people go to so much trouble to do this when there is the tip just down the road that they drive past? I am amazed and saddened by the ignorance some people still show. At school we do so much work about the environment. Even in the media the environment is on the radar often.

Why don't people care? Soon we have Keep Australia Beautiful. Advertsing has begun with the slogan, "Everyone can make a difference." If we each pick up one piece of rubbish 23 million pieces would be picked up.

I'll be going along the front up to Sweenies Creek Pottery and back. I have seen the rubbish everywhere along the road and hate to see it daily. I'll be loading up wheelbarrows and will post a picture of this year's collection.

Do people drop litter near your house?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

53. Goodbye Pool

Today the pool was dismantled and taken away to have a new home. It has been empty for two years and didn't look very good. Getting water for the pool (30,000 lts) is quite difficult in drought conditions with water restrictions.

Also as the boys are now 6 feet or more tall it was too shallow for them. The temperature of the water was quite cold also. It would sit around 19 deg C and perhaps raise to 22 C if constant hot weather and nights persisted.

So what next? A bit of relandscaping? Another pool? Perhaps a swim spa????? We have missed the pool while it's been empty. I loved to put my feet in but hated climbing up the ladder. The pool was a big part of our summer. Air conditioners are fine but just not the same as a swim.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

52. Nice and shiney

iPods are so nice and shiney when you get them out of their cases. So shiney that you can take a picture of taking a picture in their shiney silver side. The iPod touch is so much thinner than the iPhone. I have just synced another 6 iPods for school. So each class will have 6 iPods and can have a group working with the iPods in rotating activity time. They have been sharing with just 4 a grade. There will be some big smiles on Monday from teachers and students.

51. Symbols

This would have to be one of Australia's most recognised symbols seen on the side of the road. This one is out the front of our house. It used to say next 8 kms but they changed it to next 11 kms. I think it should say next 60 kms at least as there can be kangaroos all the way to Kyneton. And yes they have no road sense. They can sit and watch you and then jump out right in front of you and do thousands of dollars damage to your car. Kangaroos!

50. Natural Frames

Using nature to create a frame was this pictures mission. I remember taking a picture of a previous cat out the back in the gum tree and the large trunk and branches formed a frame. So you will need to watch this space to see what I find this time.

Watch this space!

49. Cat's paws

You can always rely on cats to pose for a photo when you are stuck for ideas, or you have got behind, like I have and have to catch up quickly. Timmy has black pads on his feet and loves the couches in the kitchen. He sleeps 20 out of 24 hours a day.

Recently he has turned up his nose at Coles brand cat food and decided to not eat for days except for his dry food he gets at night. I relented and bought some more whiskas and he was a very happy cat. Yes I know, Timmy is the boss.

Which cat belongs to these paws below?

48. Fragile

The gum trees are very fragile at the moment. Branches just fall down without any warning and without wind. It can be the stillest night and a branch will fall down. It's quite amazing the weight that is in some of theses branches that are falling.

The other week a large branch bigger (three times as thick as the one in the photo) fell down and just missed Elmo's kennel. So we removed another very big branch that looked like it might fall down as well.

The summer has been mild although March usually can be quite hot. Today is around 35 deg C warm but not stifling and we are back to a dry heat which we like. Perhaps the trees don't like it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

47. Reading with children

Tonight at the parent info session I was reminded of all the years I used to sit and hear my children read. And all the times we would sit and read stories together. It is such a wonderful time to spend with your children and a time to treasure. Carey loved Fire Engine Lil and could tell the story off by heart before he started school. Dale loved Pokey the Puppy, Simon loved Thomas the Tank engine books and Katherine loved The Tales of Peter Rabbit. That naughty Peter rabbit going into Farmer McGregor's garden and losing a button off his shirt.

To sit and share stories together is one of the greatest pleasures of being a parent. I assume it's also a favorite of grandparents. I remember my mum (Grandma)reading stories to my four children also and having an enjoyable time.

I also thought of the times we would read their readers together at bedtime and I would lay on their bed next to them while they read. The next thing we would be asleep and I'd wake up to find it's late and I still had chores to do.

We had many friends join us for story times and this is a picture of one, Blind Freddy. Simon's Teddy who lost his eyes at an early age and was then named Blind Freddy. Luckily Grandma came for a visit and sewed on some new eyes for Blind Freddy but his name never changed. However Blind Freddy did enjoy story time more with his new eyes.

46. Catch Up-frogs

Oh dear! I missed a pic. Two nights of meetings in a row has caught me without a pic for yesterday. So I'll add it today. However I did take the photo the other day and not today.
The frogs have come back to the ktichen windows. They are feasting each night on the insects that are attracted to the lights in the kitchen. This frog had a lovely time eating plenty of bugs. Their suction caps on their feet keep them up high on the windows. It's amazing to see.

Monday, February 15, 2010

45. Odd or even?

Odd but all used for the same purpose. To sit at a dinner table. The chair on the left belongs to the kitchen table which doesnt get used much at all any more. The bar stool in the middle is used daily as people sit at the bench for breakfast, some lunches and a dinner or two. The third chair is father bear's chair and sits at the head of the long extension table in the dining room. This is the table we sit at when everyone is home or when we have a large gathering for dinner or lunch. It has seen many celebrations including birthdays, Christmas dinners and other gatherings.
The bar stool belongs to a group of six and originally lived at my friend Yvonne's house. We have had them for 10 years and they need some rattan cane work on some of the seats. I wonder where there is a rattan cane place? The bar stools are very confortable.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

44. Sunset wideangle

Couldn't resist doing another wide angle and sunset was so pink however I don't thjnk the colors showed up very well.
Must look for an app that has filter for night pics.

Tonight there were ten kangaroos in the paddock. They start down the back and are now coming right up to the fence to eat the greener grass that has grown since it has rained.

Elmo was very interested and I bet they annoy him near his kennel.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 12, 2010

43. Wide Angle

So today's daily shot theme is wide angle but I don't have a wide angle camera. Of course,
"There's an app for that" So I downloaded the app panorama. It allows you to take pictures across a scene and then it stitches them together. You can work across or down which would be good when you can't fit in tall objects like buildings or trees.
This is along the front road at my school. The traffic has doubled and there isn't a quiet time especially as there is a new supermarket up the road.

Parking at 3:30 is a nightmare so we have made a staggered pick up time.

I now intend to take some shots of the scenery and stitch them.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 11, 2010

42. Hobbies

My hobby is running and walking. I try to run at least every second day and walk some other days. I have 2 pairs of runners that work with my Nike sensor and iPod. White for city walks and the grey for the bush runs and walks.

It seems that when women become a certain age some frantically try to turn back the clock. I wonder if that's me? I first began swimming when Dale and Simon were having weekly lessons. I couldn't swim a lap and so had some of my own lessons. I ended up swimming 20 laps at a time of the Olympic sized pool. I swam for three years.

After that I joined the gym and went along 3 nights a week and had regular fitness checks. I enjoyed the gym but time became an issue and I began missing sessions. Next I began running and found that I could do a 30 minute run and use as many calories as at the gym in 1 hr. Plus there was no travel time. So I have been running for three years, in fact ever since I got my Nike sensor. The sensor sends all my stats to the website and has a record of the last 3 years walks and runs.

Last year and this year I have entered fun runs. They are great as they give you something to focus your training onto. On the day it's great fun and I really enjoy it when Katherine and Luke and Carey and Nicole all come on the fun run.

The next run is the Run4kids on March 14th in Melbourne. The money raised goes to the children's hospital.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

41. Rural school house

The old rural school buiding (bottom picture)) will be demolished soon along with some other portables to make way for a new 4 classroom modular concept.

The old rural building was bought by the school council at one stage in the 60's or 70's and brought onto the Epsom site. It has been the library, the music room and various classrooms in the past. In the front is a small porch area that has a kitchen with a sink. Also inside the rural building is a stage raised floor area and massive display areas on the walls. A small class can fit inside but anything over 22 is cramped and especially if they are grade 5 or 6 children.

Many years ago I taught a class in the rural building and found it to be a lovely room. It has plenty of spaces to put books around the walls on flat shelves. The stage was very useful for class presentations by myself and students. It now has an airconditioner which is quite effective.

Two portable classroom will also be taken away. These came in the late 70's and came from a technical school. They were set up as wood work rooms. So at least they had plenty of power points. These portables are like chicken coups. And only recently had their chicken wire borded in along the top of the windows. The temperature in these portables fluctuates with the outside temperature.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

40. Big Trees

I heard today on the radio while I was on my way to school about a person who has set up a website to register large trees in Australia. I was interested to see the size of the trees and found they have a points system involving circumference, height and the crown.

I was thinking of this tree as I think it's our largest tree on our block. The gum tree is near one of our dams and has been there for ever. It was here when we bought the 7 and 3/4 acre block 35 years ago. So now I am going to measure it's circumference and try to work out the height. My son Carey may be able to help with working out the height as he measures rises in land for his engineering work. Perhaps he has some gadget that would do the job. The crown will be measured using a tape measure.

The tree was savaged by a violent almost tornado like wind that came through here a few years ago but has regrown quite well. I imagine it has it's roots into the dam. Many creatures live in the tree, galahs, cockatoos, possums, spiders and millions of ants and insects. Katherine and Carey used to climb the tree when they were younger. I really need to go back further to allow the whole crown to be in the photo.
Here is the link for the tree registering site.

39. Sun sails

Heat in the summer can be quite draining so it's little things like these sun sails that make you decide to shop here rather than somehwere else where your car will get too hot. Today has been 38deg Celcius and the humidity has been higher than we have had in many years. Bendigo usually has dry hot summers not humid steamy days. 30% humidity doesn't sound much but we are used to below 10 % humidity.

The storm clouds are rolling in and we have been warned about hail storms and flooding rains. I can hear thunder as I post this entry. The garden certainly needs a water. Even though it's so dry that most water runs off.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

38. Queen of the Lake

The view as one laid on the ground after the race.

Today I ran with Katherine in the Queen of the Lake fun run in Melbourne. It was a 5 km race around Albert Park Lake. It was flat and I thought I would like it but I missed the down hills where I can pick up some speed. The race was won by a 13 year old girl. She is a terrific runner and made really great time.
Here are my results as was sent to me on my iPhone.
After the race we enjoyed champagne and salmon bagels. They were very yummy and we were surprised because when we fininshed running we wondered how we were going to drink champagne and eat salmon. The breakfast was late, 1.5 hrs later which as it turned out gave us good recovery time so we could enjoy the drink and food.

We were both very pleased to have ran the whole way for 5kms and to have finished the race. It was lovely running around the lake.

37. Carbs

They say it's good to have lots of carbohydrates before a race. So I ordered a lovely pasta dish at M Restaurant. Prawn linguini with garlic and sweet chili sauce. Yum! The prawns were delicious but I couldn't eat all the pasta as I wanted to fit in dessert. M has so many nice desserts and they make individual serves rather than getting a huge slice from a big cake. I had a scrumptious orange cake with vanilla bean icecream.
So will this meal give me some edge for tomorrow's Queen of the Lake run at Albert Park Lake in St Kilda?

I'm looking forward to run around the lake. It's 5.2 kms but flat all the way. Imagine it being flat.
Katherine is running also and we have entered inthe mother daughter team event. After the race there's champagne and salmon for breakast. I wonder if we'll feel like it after the race?

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Friday, February 5, 2010

36. Contrast

The oxford dictionary offers this explanation of contrast.
Now to show a photo that illustrates contrast.

White writing on a dark backround provides good contrast so it can be read easily. I try to guide the children at school to select colors that contrast well when they are creating their webpages. They seem to like putting dark on dark and it becomes very hard to see. Contrast is so important when creating something for others to view.
This white writing is on the walls at the front desk at the new Loddon Mallee Regional Education Office building. The department of early childhood and youth affairs also shares the new building.

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35. Sharp

Today's theme is sharp. My friend Yvonne brought these scissors back from Vietnam. They are very sharp and therefore cut very well. Yvonne visited the scissors factory.

I use these scissors in the kitchen mainly for opening packages made from plastic.
Sometimes these scissors disappear and I have to go and hunt them up.

Sayings with sharp in them..
A sharp dresser
A sharp tongue

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

34. Coffee theme

My favourite coffee cups one from Washington and the other my Deakin graduate cup.

I like to have a coffee out of my Washington cup and I usually think of something that Lois my travel buddy and I did in Washington, like eating meals at Ruby Tuesday's and meeting up with our Canadian friends last year.

When I drink a coffee out of my Deakin graduate cup I think of all those late nights working until 2:30am to finish my Master's degree in Ed (IT). How did I do it working full time and still having three children at home?

When I am hungry I drink coffee rather than tea as it seems more filling.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

33. Orange

Finding something that is orange was very hard. I came up with three items in our house. Pingpong balls, I think the boys have enough, actual oranges(not the most orange on the outside) and flowers. Not a huge choice for todays theme.

Do you like orange? I love chocolate and orange together. Chocolate orange wedges are very nice. Jaffas are also yummy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

32. Apps for Preps

Couldn't resist showing you some of the apps that the Preps explored today. They were so engaged and learnt so quickly how to use the iPod. No-one was off task. "Can we use them again?"